Anti-corruption and civil advocacy group, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability, (ASEPA) has charged the Special Prosecutor to immediately commence an investigation into former President John Dramani Mahama’s involvement in the Airbus scandal.
Martin Amidu earlier this week named Mahama who’s the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the December 7 presidential elections as the mysterious ‘government official 1’ in the Airbus scandal.
In a corruption risk assessment report on the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal, Amidu stated that his office “established the identity of elected Government official 1 to be former President John Dramani Mahama whose brother of the full blood is Samuel Adam Foster also known as Samuel Adam Mahama.”
However, the only reason the former President had not been invited for interrogation was the fact that he got himself insurance as the Presidential candidate of the other largest political party in Ghana—an explanation ASEPA found ludicrously shocking.
“The spirit in which this office was established is to fight corruption. The Airbus SE scandal is exactly the type of case that necessitated its establishment and so it is shocking to see the office shy away from executing its mandate especially at a time like this when Ghanaians are assessing the records of the two major political parties in their fight against corruption for the purposes of electing a new government,” ASEPA’s Executive Secretary, Mensah Thompson said at a press conference on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
He wondered: “…if there was enough evidence to support the prosecution of the case as a criminal offence in another jurisdiction “why will the special prosecutor’s office hesitate to perform its mandate on account of the fact that the individual is a presidential candidate? Shouldn’t that rather be the reason why he is investigated?”
According to Thompson, there was an urgent need by the Special Prosecutor, to act if his office had established that indeed some corruption had taken place in the Airbus transaction.
“There is absolutely no law in our books that bars the Special Prosecutor from investigating anybody just because he is contesting an election. This action by the Special Prosecutor could set a bad and dangerous precedent in the fight against corruption in Ghana,” he stated.
Meanwhile, former President Mahama has been wreathing salvos at the special prosecutor for identifying him as Government Official 1 in the Airbus bribery scandal.
Speaking to a group of students at the University of Ghana, the main opposition leader said Amidu’s action amounts to “stupidity”.
“If you were man enough present Agyapa and do a report on Airbus separately and then I will come and answer you on Airbus. If you think I am indicted on Airbus accuse me directly.
“But because he is a coward and they knew Agyapa was going to be discussed today, so he put a paragraph on Airbus to equalize the discussion. What stupidity is this?” he charged.
Mahama was on record to have denied any hand in the Airbus deal while serving as president of Ghana.
Back in June, he broke his silence on the issue, arguing that due diligence was followed in the purchase of the two aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.
“Let me state without any equivocation that no financial benefit accrued to me. Neither was there any form of inducement in the purchase of the aircraft.
“My singular motivation was to equip and retool the Ghana Armed Forces in a manner that would make the discharge of their national and international roles efficient and less burdensome and for all the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make, they do not deserve less,” he told the state-owned Daily Graphic.